Who says Indian cooking needs to be complicated? These flavour-packed recipes take no more than seven ingredients (plus a few store-cupboard staples) to rustle up.
Served with plain couscous and grilled vegetables (I like courgettes, aubergine and mixed peppers), chicken tikka is an all-time favourite meal in my home. The cooked tikka can also be cooled, shredded and mixed into a cold salad. Here I serve it hot with green leaves.
Cauliflower grated into rice-like grains is an ideal way to enjoy Indian flavours without the carbs and calories that rice has. It’s surprisingly filling and satisfying if flavoured well – best of all, it takes only a few minutes to cook.
Serve this dish with a salad and you’ll find, like me, that it becomes one of your go-to meals. You can use chicken on the bone – thighs are good – but cook them for a few minutes longer than the breast meat. You can also throw in a handful of frozen diced mixed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans and peas, to make this even healthier.
This light South Indian curry is almost a stew, but unlike many southern dishes that are fiery hot, it’s quite mild. I love it best with plain boiled rice and a dash of lemon juice squeezed on top. I use full-fat canned coconut milk as the reduced-fat one does not give this curry the creaminess it needs.
This simple recipe is one of the most popular ones at my cooking classes. You can make the curry sauce in bulk and freeze some, so that the next time it will take less than 10 minutes to make this dish. If you cook rice on the side and chop up some crunchy salad, a hearty meal can be on the table within 20 minutes.
This has to be one of my favourite things to eat after a long working day. If I know I’ll be home late, I prepare some of the ingredients in the morning before I leave so that, at the end of the day, there’s very little to do before we can eat. In India, Indo-Chinese style cooking like this is second in popularity to Indian food.
I’ve used boneless chicken here as it cooks quite quickly. You can use legs or thighs on the bone if you prefer, but ensure you increase the cooking time at the end to 30 minutes or until the chicken, when cut open, is white and hot all the way through.
My grandmother was an exceptional biscuit maker and I remember her baking these for us as a teatime snack when we got home from school. They were crisp and crumbly with a melt-in-the-mouth texture that made them very moreish. I add a bit of gram flour and semolina to the traditional recipe for extra crispness.
Laddoos are a traditional spiced Indian sweet, often made with condensed milk, nuts, fruit and spices and eaten on festive days such as Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
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Indian in 7: Delicious Indian Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj is published by Kyle Books, price £17.99. To order a copy for £14.40 with free p&p until 3 November visit mailshop.co.uk, or call 01603 648155.